Tag Archives: rejection

INKSPILL – Inspiration (Video/Discussion)


inkspill pink


Watch this inspirational writing video By Rae Dover

Then comment below to discuss the following points;

Writing on the hop  

Unusual things you have used to write on. Do you carry a notebook?


How do you deal with rejection?

creative commons travel write Creative Commons


Writing on the hop. Unusual things you have used to write on. Do you carry a notebook?

I have written on all manner of paper related items – I really enjoyed trying to remember the pre-tech world I started writing in and all the items I used to write on. Share your lists with us here.

Boxes (recycle bins are great for that), beer mats, receipts, toilet roll, tissues, the sole of my boots, skin (arm, hand), aeroplane sick bags, ticket stubs, paying in slips, newspaper, magazines, leaflets, brochures, till roll, waitress pads, paper bags/sandwich bag, plastic bags, banana skin, straws, serviettes, disposable gloves from garages (plastic), pencil cases, the end pages (blank) in print books, maps, paper towels, bandages, shopping list pad, post-its, memo pads and business cards.

Nowadays I carry a A6 notebook, I am onto my 3rd one. I sometimes catch an idea on my phone using either text, memo or recording.



How do you deal with rejection?

Rejection is inevitable. Learning to accept rejection, essential. I used to imagine I would create papier-mâché art from my rejection slips and host a gallery event. This was back in the day when I was a young writer and all submissions were postal. Nowadays, rejections in email form would mean I would have to print them first. I wouldn’t waste the ink.

This is not to say that rejections are a waste of ink, the best can offer advice or help you realise the weaknesses in your writing. Equally, rejections may come from what is right for that publication or issue. I have had poems accepted on the third submission that were rejected elsewhere.

I will happily resubmit poetry three times before I consider an edit – my submitted material has already been through the editing process. After that I may look at the writing and see if more work can be done.

Finally, I do not take rejection personally. It isn’t personal. Most editors don’t even know me, so how can it be personal? It happens. Sometimes writing is published, sometimes not. That is the way it is.

The other good piece of advice I have picked up is to send something straight back out for submission. Do NOT let one rejection stop you, or two, or many.

There are wonderful lists of successful people who failed first time, read one here;


Over to you… creative commons Photo by Augustin Ruiz Write-About-Yourself-580x314 Creative Commons



The Ups and Downs of Creatives: Motivation & Mindset


notebooks The Ups and Downs of Creatives


  • Writing can be particularly isolating – get out and find Local Creative movements or find an online community.
  • Keep your motivation up. If you’re not excited – then who will be?
  •  Be brave – look in the mirror and see courage – and if not, repeat the words a few times.
  • Find time to put in practise
  • and practise what you learn


Look at some great examples (people/work) and aspire, see what achievements they had, do you see yourself having the same?

maya creativity

  • Share your own learning experience
  • Pass it forward

Then you get to a place you feel you should be and it is all waterfalls and rainbows after that? Wrong.

You keep growing – keep learning – keep failing and succeeding. Many creative areas are like small planetary systems and the orbit around us is called REJECTION – occasionally you see a small opening – shoot for it and make it through to success – and even success comes with a ton more lessons.

Don’t let that put you off wishing for it – in fact wishing for success is your first step towards it – pull it closer towards you.

Be prepared for your confidence to take a knock – and quite often you are the one responsible for throwing such punches.

Be prepared for a lack of self-belief to raise its ugly head from time to time.



Set goals – be clear on what it is you want to achieve and when things go wrong make 1 of 2 decisions;

– kick it to the kerb and try again


– decide that fate has other plans and move in a different direction  – fight or flight really – of course it is TRULY something you really want – keep fighting – don’t give up – but set a time limit on the punches (mine was 16 years*, now closer to 13, despite it taking 9 months to find my writing niche).

Right now, especially if I reflect on the past 4 months, there are things that haven’t gone as well as I would have liked. Things that have failed completely (note I say ‘things’ and not I – rejection is not personal) but also there has been success, achievement and a few opportunities I had not dreamt would be on offer this early on the path of my goals.

A happy summer 2011 SEEK HAPPINESS

Of course a certain amount of dream/ambition and perfect working world comes from a place where we seek happiness. If you are serious about making it part of your life/existence you will need to accept that it will be jolly hard work (often not jolly at all) … but if you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like work and when it does and you feel it dragging you down… do what I do and think about what WORK used to mean/be! I can guarantee you are doing better now -right?

Stress(ing) takes up abundant amounts of energy and you may find (if like me you still have paid employment to keep you alive) that this is becoming ever more stressful.

DAlma© 2014 Deborah Alma

This year for many reasons (not least that I am finally well enough to do so) I have taken on more career work. The result of this has meant losing writing days – for the first few months this made me angry. Mr G was working away and I wanted to spend my free time with him, not the laptop – and I am glad I did, because we got through it and are now reunited and the laptop can make an appearance at any time without neglect or imbalance occurring.

Looking back considering what a challenging (timewise) writing year it has been so far, I am not doing too badly. There is one major project that I wish I had spent more time on in the New Year, on the flip side although I have inevitably delayed something exciting and forward propelling from happening, I have created new material which wouldn’t have been written in time or possibly would never have existed.

writing space 2 mote carlo CREATE SPACE

Remember to create some space and time for you to address what’s happening, what you are thinking. What do you want your life to be like? Start with the ideal and work backwards.

What is important to you?

What creative direction would you like to take?


  • step out of your comfort zone
  • seek new opportunities
  • plan and schedule – only say YES if you can do it
  • Celebrate the good times and try to acknowledge the bad times, they will often teach valuable lessons. Many times over, usually.
  • Remember all those famous people who failed, that we only see the success (which is why I like to blog the fails too). If you have been walking around without an eye on the internet for the past decade and happen to have missed the list and have no clue what I’m talking about…. here are just a few popular examples:


Vincent Van Gogh: sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.

Emily Dickinson: had fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.

I have (and probably you have) already beaten this in today’s world of publishing.

Theodor Seuss Giesel: 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book.

Steven Spielberg: was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.

Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash.

J. K. Rowling: was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel.

ELVIS PRESLEY got fired after his first show;

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

world poetry day LOOK BACK

Look back – YES

I look through my schedule, which I annotate as I go with highlighters/markers, I know my key: Performing, writing, submitting, publishing etc.

Then I have a system where at the end of the month I write on a small post-it all the MAJOR achievements, that way when I reflect I just look over the 1-12 post-it notes.

Other people keep their TO DO lists in a separate notebook and just look back through these.

It needn’t mean extra work for you, but this reflection will boost your creativity/ output and success in the future.

I have also learnt to let the dips happen, they are a natural (and necessary) part of any creative career. Plus many creative people are likely to suffer depression, anxiety… so let go, give in and feel the rip and pull of the tide until you enjoy it as much as the gentle white horses of the sea covering your feet on the sand.

The best way to deal with it or anything is to


motivation keep on

Happy Writing x

* Brief information on my plan = 4 Olympics… all this is training for my first – 2016.

My First Poetry Competition


The title is not strictly true, as a young writer I entered one or two and I have sent off poetry for FREE subscriber magazine competitions, however this was the first Poetry Prize Festival Competition I entered. wenlock

For the Wenlock Poetry Festival. Funnily enough I was thinking about this earlier whilst doing some chores, I decided that I don’t feel strong enough, whether that is confidence or belief in my work to enter PAID competitions yet. With the exception of some local ones I have chosen to support this year.

My inbox just confirmed that. I have only been back in the writing chair of poetry since September and in that time I have produced many poems. I should count them and make myself feel good – I know I have written about 14 this weekend!

I received a lovely email, they have now shortlisted from over 500 poems they were sent and I didn’t make the cut, or at least my poem didn’t. It was very hard having an OPEN theme – it could be anything…. I look forward to finding out at the end of April.

In the meantime it is a blessing, the Wenlock Poetry Festival and promotion of this competition takes place on the same day we are all having a family meal to celebrate my Uncle’s marriage to his long time girlfriend, they are travelling up from London.

My plan is to concentrate on one off submissions alongside some anthology work and still build my own reputation, possibly broaden the tech, get out there on You Tube, keep up the public performances and give my writing some time. I feel I am pushing the writing at the moment.

It is nice to know my poem will appear on the Wenlock Poetry Trail as part of the Festival.

An Article in ‘The Stylist’ – Rejection Letters of the Famous


We will all face rejection from the world of publishing, I have FINALLY had lots of success recently, but it is a long, hard road even for the successful writer.

I saw a link to this article on social media and thought I would share it here, take a look, it will make you feel better.  i_love_reading_2

Amongst the rejected are;

Sylvia Plath,



George Orwell,

Gertrude Stein.


Take a look, these letters will make you feel better, better about yourself and your writing… and then you can just keep going like all these famous people did.




That Long Avenue, Rejectionsville


After an hour or so of writing admin tasks (including an email check) I am the proud owner of another rejection slip! I will keep going.

Someone will bite… and when they do…. the rest will be bitten! 😉

inkspill woman writer

Rejectionsville Avenue sure is LONG!


I have just received an email from EmmaPress rejecting poetry I sent for anthology consideration, mid December, the only flip side is this material can be included in something else I have in the pipeline now.

Now I know what The Beatles meant about long and winding roads, nothing to do with love at all! 😉


Taking a Stroll Down Rejection Avenue


I have recently received another rejection for the Journey poems I submitted for Popshots Magazine, just 6 days ago.

Rejections are fine, they are part of everyone’s lives, especially artists. I started this blog last year to track my life as a writer, that includes ups and downs. We hear so much about writing successes without knowing about the years of trying or failures that came before. It is tempting to keep my rejection slips secret, but I don’t need to … I know that the material is rejected on all sorts of criteria and just because the work was wrong for publication this time, doesn’t mean it will always be wrong for somewhere else or that you can’t write new material for a publication who have already rejected you.

I have realised over the past few months that these journals do tend to publish already established artists, their names will help sell issue. I do believe that at some point success will be mine, I would love to work on my own pamphlet soon and will need some recent publication success to entice publishers to risk it! I may produce my own small collection towards the end of the year anyway. (Even if it is just for myself.)

So I am taking in the air down on Rejection Avenue and it smells as if there is possibility there.

  • Being afraid of rejection is as daft as being scared of your own reflection.
  • Bitterly vowing to never submit again, is a waste of energy. (And a downright lie!)


  • Read the email. Take on board any advice given, let the poems rest a while and return to them later to detect whether it was you or them…

‘It’s not you, it’s me’ actually might work on your mind-set…. it’s not your poetry it’s our publishing house!

You have not fallen down, so just blow the dust off your pen and try again. 6483e9d67caad0f203f569497e0b3c7e

To Be or Not… a Post from Rejectionsville


Before I write this next post I am going to remind myself of the quotations from the last one (written Wednesday)
Work on the right projects at the right time.

Just because I find it doesn’t mean I have to do it.

Beginning to hate the thought of firing up the laptop … is not good.

Keep building the collection.

It is definitely within my grasp, I will go for it.

I am feeling fulfilled and positive about writing, I love a daily tap of the keys, I think, dream & breathe writing, I always have done but now I feel it.
Yesterday (Thursday) as I checked my Inbox I was delighted to hear from a publication (the editorial pile ride can take a while), obviously I had high hopes as I opened the message and within the first few lines was aware of rejection No.1 2013. (As long as that number doesn’t exceed the submissions HA! HA!)

It’s okay. I am feeling okay about it. My material wasn’t suitable to that particular publication at that time, I know better than to discard it and on the plus side I have 6 unique poems which would never had been written if I hadn’t decided to rise to the proposal challenge.

Yesterday I was ill and slept most of the day, in the afternoon as I lay in bed I read articles, drifting in and out of more sleep, as I read, the process of the writer became of paramount interest. I read a Judith Spelman interview with Ken Bruce, he was talking about writing his autobiography. Which he did by using his 45 minute commute journey everyday. It took him 6 months to complete. I am currently working on my freelance career between 6 – 27 hrs a week – banking 2- 23hrs more than Ken, I have the time commitment finally, now I just need to keep the faith.

Often people’s main problem is finding the time. I started working part-time – gaining 30-50 hours of life back per week, I have also cut down TV and social media/internet time. (I have probably spent less time on housework and household chores too! Every minute counts huh!) I have realised that a writing schedule is essential and since the end of February instead of trying to follow crazy, scribbled notes in my writing journal I have been using a timetabled approach.

This is much better, easier to follow and if you have an off day you can clearly see what you have missed and then decide whether you need to readjust the next days work to accommodate the missing time or if the project meets the slush pile – as a few of mine have this month.

If I miss something I consider important I add it to my RESEARCH list to look up the same opportunity next year, hopefully by then I will already have a piece in mind that I can enter. The opportunities can still be chased, just in future time when better prepared. I don’t know many people who would attempt a marathon barefoot – although, strangely enough I know a lot of people who run marathons!

To make myself feel even better, I re-read the poems with a critical eye, as well as reading a section of W&A by John Whitworth.
‘If your poems are good they will find a publisher if you preserve.’
(Which I think sounds a little like I should let them out Free Range.)

I am not discouraged. I may use them for other submissions later in the month or as part of the collection I am writing as I am now nearly 1/3 of the way there and potentially have another 9 months or so to improve and develop ideas.

As far as rejection letters go I am no expert (having only ever received a few), I thought it was pleasant in tone and vaguely helpful and in this ‘modern submission age’ with the 1000’s of entries they must sift through I am surprised and delighted that they bother to send an email at all.

I post proudly, we have all been there, ‘Rejectionsville’ is just a place to pass through though, never think of applying for permanent residency!

Happy Writing x